Five Simple Steps to Boost Your Confidence as a Leader

confidenceAs a business leader, having the confidence to make difficult decisions and have conflict-riddled conversations is a necessary component of sustained success.

Thomas Edward, the founder of executive coaching firm Confidence Unchained and an Entrepreneur contributor, outlines five steps for establishing and increasing your confidence:

#1: Plan ahead but be flexible: Edward advises that being mindful of unexpected opportunities can boost your ability to seize the moment.

“The best thing about entrepreneurship is spontaneity. When you leave room for the unknown, you open yourself up to new possibilities that may be perfect for taking your business to the next level.

Recognizing that circumstances will disrupt even the most well-constructed plans for short and long term growth, prepares business leaders to confidently adapt to new realities.

#2: Listen before you speak: Teaching the concept of “active listening”, Edward believes the key to engaging conversation is asking open-ended questions and listening carefully to the answers.

In a world where distractions are all around, practicing active listening shows you are not only listening, but actually care about the response.

“If you’re not listening, you’re not connecting.”

#3: Appearance matters: Dress the part. There’s no better confidence booster than simply looking and feeling your best.

#4: Exercise: Many business leaders overlook this important component, especially when the deadlines are mounting and there never seems to be enough hours in the day to accomplish everything.

“Spend 10 to 30 minutes each day keeping your body in shape. It can improve everything from posture and body language to self-esteem and decision making — especially during the most stress-filled moments.”

#5: Smile: When your self-confidence is feeling rattled, the simple act of a smile is a great way to get out of a rut.

“Even in the most strenuous of circumstances, smiling can put everyone around you — including yourself — at ease. You’re then in a position of influence to make decisions people will trust.”

How do you build your self-confidence as a leader?